There is a person who has the ability to stop time in a radius of say 10m around himself. The time stop does not affect things like light and the air inside the sphere, so the person can move around and see what is happening.

The question I want to propose is, from an observer outside of the sphere, which scenario is more accurate?

1) For the outside observer, time continues as normally, and viewing the sphere, everything is locked in space, except for the person until he releases the sphere; or

2) Everything outside of the sphere appears locked in time, and the inside of the sphere continues as normal, anyone inside would be unaffected. An observer outside the sphere however, would have no knowledge of it as the passage of time from when it is created to when it is released is an instant. They would only notice if something was suddenly out of place.

Does not have to be hard science based, simply which is the most plausible.


Will close this as after some consideration realized that the 1st option is stopping time inside the sphere, aka something like faceless void chronosphere in dota, while the 2nd is actually speeding up time inside, aka similar to the book and movie clockstoppers.

  • $\begingroup$ It seems that for an outside observer, everything would seem normal, except for a sphere, which would in one moment undergo a sudden change which corresponds to events that happened inside of it during the time stop. However, this seems too short for an answer, so I just wrote this comment instead. $\endgroup$
    – Danijel
    Apr 18, 2019 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Danijel The length of the answer honestly doesn't matter as long as it answers the question and backs itself up. Add the "why" behind your answer, and that comment makes a pretty good answer! $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2019 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Danijel so more the 2nd option then? thanks for the input $\endgroup$
    – Umbra
    Apr 18, 2019 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Umbra Does this ability pause everything within that ten foot radius while the rest of the world moves on, or does it cause everything within that sphere to happen more or less instantaneously? $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2019 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Stormbolter It does not appear to be a duplicate. This question specifies that air and light are not affected by the time pause, while the other question seems to operate under the idea that air and light are both affected. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2019 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


It depends on how you define stopped with respect to time.

We say that time passes at a rate of 1 second per 1 second, but if we have the power to change how fast it passes in order to slow or stop it then we have to define which second is which and where. In this case we only have to consider what's happening inside the sphere and outside the sphere. Once we do, then we can tell which of your 2 scenarios will be accurate.

If you consider time stoppage to mean that 0 seconds pass inside the sphere for every second that passes outside the sphere, then Scenario #1 is correct.

If you consider time stoppage to mean that 0 seconds pass outside the sphere for every second that passes inside the sphere, then Scenario #2 is correct.

Note: In most Science Fiction involving stopping time, they are talking about #1, (there are, of course, exceptions to this: "Stops time. Freeze Ray. Tell your friends" DHSALB)


It would look like an asteroid impact.

If you have a sphere where "time is frozen", you've got to stablish relative to what frame it is stopped. If the reference frame is outside Earth, well... We can get from a small quake to an apocalyptic disaster.

Freeze it relative to the ground, and the sphere will be moving relative to the Earth at a speed of $cos(latitude) \times 460 m/s$.

An unstoppable 10 meter-wide sphere of asphalt coming your way at Mach 1.4 will completely destroy vehicles, demolish buildings and turn people into poodles of blood and goo. It will also spread destruction around since it will push stuff out of its way. Your best move as an observer is to stay very far from it, a few hundred kilometers at least.

By the way - since air and light are unaffected, you should be able to peek inside it. But it will probably pick up so much debris on its way that it will become a solid katamari of earth, concrete and body parts.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for the image of "poodles of blood and goo". Never gonna look at poodles the same way again! $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2019 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ Freezing experienced time of those inside the sphere has absolutely no reason to change their motion. The universe outside still experiences time normally and should see the sphere continue moving in whatever way it did before. After all it's similar to light—light never experiences time at all, and moves at speed of light. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Apr 18, 2019 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ +1 poodles. Conservation of momentum solves the meteor problem but makes for a weird effect when things in flight suddenly change velocity, including your blood until your heart speeds it back up again. It would feel REALLY weird. $\endgroup$
    – Muuski
    Apr 18, 2019 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, my last comment might freeze everything in the sphere... $\endgroup$
    – Muuski
    Apr 18, 2019 at 21:35

Okay, maybe I am being dense but if you stop time inside the sphere then....

  1. The person doing the stopping (assuming they are unaffected) as well as people outside the sphere will perceive everything outside the sphere to progress normally and everything inside the sphere to be stopped.

  2. The stopped people will perceive a sudden shift in the universe because for them no time has passed but things outside the sphere have moved.


I had a character who could remove himself from 4-Dimensional space (Height, Length, Width, and Time), which meant he could move in this while everyone was frozen, but he couldn't move anything that he did not bring in with him through direct physical contact. He also was locked in entropy stasis during this time, so he didn't need to eat, sleep, drink, ect...

From his perspective everything was frozen (in my mind's eye, it's also sepia toned, but that's more asthetic than actual logical reasons) and from everyone else perspective, he had just teleported. From his perspective, he would have move through the space in order to achieve the teleport... at the speed of what he was moving at... he could go from New York to LA in the blink of your eye... but from his eyes, he walked that hole distance. Additionally, any item he takes in and leaves is essentially gone forever, as it's locked in a moment that has past.


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